Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reputed Manatee members of SUR 13 gang charged

MANATEE -- Thirteen reputed members of the SUR 13 criminal street gang have been charged with racketeering and related charges, following an 18-month investigation by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.

The sheriff’s gang unit executed four search warrants Monday morning and arrested two suspects, officials said.
Four other suspects were already in jail and two were in prison. Five remain at large, according to a department news release.

Two of the suspects, Daniel Robledo, 25, and Manuel Ramirez, 20, were charged with murder in the June 15, 2009, shooting death of Rolando Martinez-Rosales in Bradenton. Robledo was already in jail, charged with murder in the July 23, 2011, shooting death of Elvis Ruiz in Bradenton.

Ramirez remains at large.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act -- commonly referred to as the RICO Act or RICO -- is a federal law which allows extended criminal penalties for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. According to legal websites, it allows leaders of a gang to be tried for the crimes they ordered others to do or assisted them.

All of the defendants in the Manatee case face RICO and conspiracy to commit racketeering charges, officials said. This is the sheriff’s second RICO operation involving the gang SUR 13.

“It takes a number of these known gang members off of our streets, and the crimes they have been committing in the past now, hopefully, will stop, if we can get them convicted and sentenced to prison,” said Sheriff Brad Steube.

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